28th May 2012
British middleweight champion Martin Murray will face French middleweight champion Karim Achour at the Velodrome in Manchester on June 16.
Murray who is promoted by Hatton Boxing, staged a public workout at the Metquarter shopping centre in Liverpool this weekend to showcase his talents and to meet and greet his fans and posed for photographs with the hundreds who came to see him.
The St Helens man trains in Manchester with Oliver Harrison and is in a catchment area to attract both the Scouse and Manc fans and indeed any boxing fan who appreciates a good honest pro and tough competitor in their boxer of choice, wouldn’t go far wrong in following Murray.
Murray will take on the aggressive come forward styled Ancour on the undercard of Hatton Promotions ‘Road To Glory’ bill which is topped by Scott Quigg and Rendall Munroe’s battle for the vacant WBA interim world super-bantamweight title.
It will be Murray’s first fight since he drew against WBA super champion Felix Sturm last year in a fight that many thought he had won. But a draw against a German champion in Germany could well be conceived as a win to a more discerning pallet!
Achour, 25, has won 13 of his 15 fights, and should provide Murray who is ranked in the top five by the WBA, WBC and WBO with a decent stand, but hopefully not too much and Martin you’d think can wear him down and stop him as the fight wears past the mid way point.
On an Saturday afternoon in Liverpool Martin went through a full repertoire of punching skills on the pads with his coach Harrison and then laced on the sparring gloves to go a few rounds with his longtime coach and personal friend.
It was a good day and Martin unexpectedly invited some young boxers into the ring to share a few rounds with him, including two time national female champion Laura ‘Cyclone’ Kelly, who had come along as a fan on the day, and got to share the ring with a British champion and world title challenger.
The afternoon was accompanied with a running commentary from Ricky Hatton and the former undisputed light-welterweight and welterweight world champion interviews Murray to get his views on training and his fight with Achour.
Martin and Ricky staying behind afterwards to let everybody who came have their picture taken with them down to the very last person, everybody were treated to a great spectacle and could meet their boxing hero’s up close.
Murray is surely not far away from getting another shot at a world title after his performance over Sturm. Unfortunately a proposed fight with WBC champion Julio Ceaser Chavez Junior had to be scrapped when Murray was refused a visa to travel to the States.
But Hatton believes if he keeps his charge busy, the chance will come again.
“Martin is being patient, but I am certain we will deliver another major fight later this year.
“In the meantime it is all about keeping him busy and winning against decent opposition.
“Since the Sturm fight a match against WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Junior fell through, but he got over that by getting straight back into the gym.
“Achour is a decent test for Martin in his first fight since Sturm, but I am predicting a big performance that will prove he’s Britain’s number one middleweight.”
In part 2 of the video Martin spars with coach Oliver and young boxers from the audience. (available here soon)